A woman dialled 999 to tell police she had been “mugged off” by a takeaway company that delivered her a mushroom pizza instead of a meat feast.
A recording of the exchange was released by Essex Police as part of a campaign against hoax and inappropriate calls.
The call handler asks the woman if everything is OK, and she replies: “Yeah, no, I’ve been mugged off by a f****** takeaway would you believe it.
“I rung up for an 18, a number 18 meat feast and she’s trying to tell me nah, nah you ordered a number eight.
“I’m allergic to mushrooms so I know for a fact I didn’t order a number eight right, and I’ve got a pizza sat here with f****** mushrooms on it that I can’t eat, £11.99 later she doesn’t want to help me out or nothing.”
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When advised to call the takeaway to ask for a refund, the woman said: “Well I tried to do that but she reckons she’s the manager.”
The force said it receives around 400 hoax or inappropriate 999 calls each month, including one lady who complained that her Nando’s chicken was undercooked, and that the figure increases in summer.
In further released recordings, a man asks why the police helicopter is “hovering over my house and disturbing the peace” and a separate caller inquires about a “bull in the field” sign.
The man says he wants to know “who I can contact to find out if there really is a bull in the field or it’s just a farmer messing around”.
Superintendent Kevin Baldwin, who heads the force’s control room, said: “There’s nothing that frustrates my team more than picking up the phone on a 999 call only for it to be a call which plainly isn’t an emergency and is sometimes a deliberate hoax.
“This is a very busy time of the year where we are working flat out, so answering a 999 call made by someone who should have a bit more common sense isn’t just infuriating, it could risk the life of someone who really needs us but can’t get through.”